Monday, July 27, 2009

From Small Things

Today may not be the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere but I would wager that it shall feel as if the summer solstice has cloned itself by the time night falls. I am not much of a vacation-goer - Margaret and I go on vacation once every five years whether we need to or not (just kidding dear). As one accustomed to the ebb and flow of work - the rhythm of the workplace as it were - hopping out of the stream for one whole week might prove to make it a bit tricky hopping right back in. While I am confident that by this time tomorrow it will feel as if we never were away, today promises to be a bit tricky.

During the week that the loop went on without me, interesting things happened throughout the nation. When Margaret, Joe and I began our great migration west, my beloved Bombers were in 2nd place - a couple of games behind the evil Red Horde from Boston (also known as "the foe we cannot defeat"). Yesterday, flying right to left, the Yankees were in first place. Clearly, the amount of importance that I have placed upon the counsel that I dispense to Messr. Girardi and his crew on a nightly basis from my den has been slightly overstated. Who knew?

It was also an interesting week for our nation's Chief Executive. President Obama is an exquisitely bright man, which is what made his proclamation that a certain white police officer in a certain town in Massachusetts acted 'stupidly' in his arrest of a certain African-American college professor from a certain Ivy League institution - a proclamation he made after first telling the nation that (a) the professor is a personal friend of his; and (b) he did not know all of the facts - so extraordinary. While his reconsideration of his comments forty-eight hours later, which was broadcast after he had spoken to the officer directly and settled up with him, was extraordinary in its own right (how often does John Q. Public get an apology from the Prez?) the manner in which he leaped into the fray - without all of the facts - was a bit unsettling. Candidly, it was the type of ill-informed, shoot from the hip, cowboy up nonsense that we came to anticipate with the regularity of the sunrise from his predecessor. It was something that our cool, calculated, articulate new leader was supposed to be immune from engaging in.

Perhaps however proving that he is not immune from the occasional foible is a good thing. At times during the campaign, he appeared to be almost robot-like - eschewing emotions and off-the-cuff remarks for scripted, prepared ones. This past week he showed us that he is indeed human, which as we all know from our own experience, means often that we are a postal code or two from perfect.

We make mistakes - all of us do. As long as we have the capacity to learn from them, we should not be afraid to make them. This week, Mr. Obama showed us both that he knows how to make them and how to learn from them. Not a damn thing wrong with that - not at all.


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